The storecupboard challenge


With a love for cooking and a penchant to save money, 20-something-year-old blogger Kerry Marland created Thrifty Eats which offers helpful tips on making scrummy food at a low cost. Here she sets herself a storecupboard challenge and shares with us what she made.

Our storecupboards are wonderful things aren’t they? It’s great that we can use ingredients again and again. But they can also gather up, forgotten and unused before they need chucking away. Wasting food is not cool folks, so I’m making it my mission to get eating it up! 

I decided to set myself a Storecupboard challenge. The rules are quite simple: 

1. Cook a three-course meal for two-that’s a starter, main course and dessert-from my storecupboard ingredients.

2. Any fresh ingredients had to be leftovers from the fridge.

3. The food has to be delicious! 

So what did I cook? 

Well, it’s been a while since I’ve had a proper rummage in my storecupboard and I have collected A LOT of food. It’s a shame to look at it that I haven’t eaten any of it sooner, especially as they can go out of date so quickly.

The ingredients I used were:

330g (11oz) tinned sweetcorn 
3 eggs
self-raising flour
2 spring onions 
sweet chilli dipping sauce
1 onion
leftover Sunday dinner chicken
wholegrain mustard
280ml (9fl oz) double cream
tagliatelle pasta
strawberry jam
sunflower oil
salt and pepper

Do you often find these ingredients in your storecupboard and fridge? Here’s how you can transform them into a tasty three-courser for two:

Starter: Sweetcorn pancakes with sweet chilli sauce

These are easy-peasy. First make your batter by mixing 2 of your eggs with 25g (1oz) of butter and 5 tbsp of your milk. Add 85g (3oz) of your flour with a pinch of salt and whisk. Drain your sweetcorn and add to the mix with chopped spring onions.

Heat up a frying pan with some oil, and then spoon out the mixture into four, frying on each side for 1-2 minutes. When they’re puffed up and golden they’re ready to be served with some delicious sweet chilli sauce. Yum!

Main: Leftover chicken with pasta in a mustard creamy sauce 

Start by boiling your pasta in water - it’ll take around 8 minutes. Chop and fry the onions in hot oil until translucent. Add your double cream and 2 tbsps of the mustard. Bring to the boil and then let it simmer for 2 minutes. Add your cooked chicken, drain your pasta and mix in the sauce. Season and you’re done!

Dessert: Jam sponge pudding with one ingredient ice cream

Grab a big bowl and mix 50g (2oz) of sugar with 50g (2oz) of butter and cream together. Beat your remaining egg and add to the mix with 30ml (2tbsp) of milk. Sift in 50g (2oz) of your flour and fold it in gently. 

Get yourself a microwaveable dish, (any will do) and put 2 tbsp of jam into the bottom. Pour in the mixture on top and cover. Pop in the microwave for around 3 1/2 minutes on full power. You know it’s ready when the pudding looks set and the top is sticky.

For the ice cream, simply freeze two bananas until solid, then blend until smooth in a food processor. And that's it! Healthy, creamy and yummy ice cream, a perfect accompaniment to the sponge!

Grab a spoon and dig in!

What was the verdict?

Delicious, mission accomplished! I need to raid my storecupboard (and transform my leftovers) more often. Take a look in your cupboard today and see what you can make!

About Kerry Marland

Kerry lives in Cardiff. By day she works in charity and by night turns into a kitchen goddess, cooking and trialing her delicious dishes with her housemate.

For more thrifty inspired recipes, check out Kerry’s blog ‘Thrifty Eats’ or follow her on Twitter @thriftyeats.

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